Photo: Phil Sandlin/Palm Beach Post
Name: Erik Murphy Age: 22 School: Florida
Height: 6’10 Weight: 240 Projected Position: PF
12.2 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.4 apg, 1.4 tpg (26.4 minutes per game)
51.6 FG%, 78.4 FT%, 45.3 3FG%
64.3 TS%, 62.9 eFG%, 12.8 TREB%, 17.4 DREB%, 22.5 USG%
SKILLS & ATHLETIC BREAKDOWN
Murphy is very efficient in the low post and he has developed a few go-to moves to allow him to create space. He has excellent touch around the rim, and he does a good job using his body to clear space to allow him to get to the basket. Murphy is more comfortable going over his left shoulder to his right hand While he has developed a series of go to moves, his footwork isn’t great when he is pressured, and he can be forced into turnovers. Murphy is very good at using shot fakes to get defenders in the air, and he is capable of drawing, and finishing, though contact. He is a very good screener on the perimeter and he rolls well to the basket, or more often, popping out to the perimeter.
Murphy is a very good spot-up shooter, especially behind the 3-point line. He squares well to the basket, has a good release point and follow-through. His size allows him to shoot over most defenders, and if not, he uses ball-fakes and jab steps well to create space. He understands floor spacing, and he is a good option in pick-and-pop situations, especially with a point guard who can draw both defenders. Closer to the rim, Murphy has good touch in close and is capable of finishing through contact. One area Murphy really needs to improve is using his left hand around the left side of the basket. He doesn’t look to penetrate from the perimeter often, but he will often try to force the ball to the right side so he can finish with his left.
Free Throw Shooting
Murphy is a good free throw shooter, with a smooth routine and stroke, and good follow-through and arc. He would probably get to the line a lot more, but he takes only 25% of his shots around the basket, leading to less contact and chances to get to the line. Still, when he does get the ball in the low post, he does a great job drawing contact and getting a good shot off.
Murphy positions himself well in the post, and he uses his upper body and lower body well to put pressure on the offensive player. His footwork has improved, but he can still be a step slow against quicker offensive players. His lack of foot speed is helped somewhat by his ability to get low and wide and force players to go further around. Murphy needs to work on hedging more effectively on pick-and-rolls and forcing the ballhandler to take a wide path around. Generally, Murphy has good defensive awareness, and you can see him throughout the game directing from the back of the defense.
Murphy doesn’t have the foot speed and lateral quickness to defend smaller, quicker players on the perimeter, but he compensates by positioning himself well while also working to force any penetration towards the help defense. Murphy reacts well to his man’s movements, and he does a good job not falling for ball and shot fakes. He uses his length well to close on shooters and it allows him to cover ground quickly.
Murphy is fundamentally sound as a rebounder, but his lack of athleticism holds him back at times. He does a good job looking to box out on the shot and using his body well to seal off space. Murphy does a good job going strong after the ball and keeping it up high, and he has become one of the better outlet passers I have seen this year. Where Murphy has problems is dealing with quick leapers who can get up and after the ball before he can put a body on them. Murphy has shown a good nose for the ball on the offensive glass when he is in position around the basket, and he does a good job watching the shot and knowing where the rebound will likely go.
Murphy runs the floor well for his size, but don’t look for him to get out in front of everybody. Where he is at his best is as a trailer on the secondary break, spotting up behind the three point line.
Murphy made his name as a perimeter shooter, but he has shown that he can be an effective post scorer as well. Still, his road to the NBA will come from his ability to stretch the floor and allow teams to utilize the pick-and-pop. Murphy is also an underrated defender in the post, and a decent perimeter defender in the right match-ups. There’s not a lot of flash, but he gets to open spots, knocks down open jumpers and plays hard all game. He will improve any team he plays for.
Draft Value: Early 2nd Round– #31-38
With some work on his quickness and defense, Murphy is ready to play at the NBA level. He makes the most of his touches and can be used in a versatile manner. He would be a strong pick-up for a halfcourt dominant offense that likes to use their forwards in pick-and-roll and pick-and-pop situations, or for a team with a dominant big man who needs shooters on the perimeter.
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